Tuesday, February 28, 2006

“If You Had Only Told Me!” – A Defense To Sanctions

In the Fifth District Court of Appeal case, Hernando County School Board v. Nazar, 2006 Fla. App. LEXIS 1995 [Fla. 5th DCA 2006], appellant filed a motion with the appellate court seeking the imposition of sanctions against appellee, Paul Nazar, and his counsel, Peter Capua, for their failure to appear at court-ordered appellate mediation.

The mediator, appellant’s counsel and party representatives all traveled to the site of the mediation. Nazar did not appear for the scheduled mediation. Attorney Capua did not appear in person for the mediation, although he attempted to appear by telephone. While no motion was filed with the court seeking to be excused from the personal appearance requirement, Capua contacted the mediator's office and sought to be excused from appearing personally at the mediation [not a good move]. The mediator did not excuse [this was a good move] the personal appearance of either Capua or Paul Nazar due to the court’s order which expressly stated that personal attendance can only be excused by the court.

To learn what reasons were given for not appearing and what the sanctions were, read the opinion. It’s a quick read.

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